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Act Now: End Leprosy

Timeline[3] 

1873 - Identification of the Bacterium Causing Leprosy

1954- Initiation of observing World Leprosy Day to increase public awareness

2018- The maximum of 2.08 lakh global cases- are from India, Brazil, and Indonesia.

2023- The theme for World Leprosy Day 2023 is 'Act Now: End Leprosy'. 

Should we be concerned?[3,4]

Leprosy, caused by Mycobacterium leprae, is still not eradicated from India and peaks in two age groups (10–15 and 30–60 years). 

The bacteria enter the body through the nose, broken skin, through nasal discharge of untreated lepromatous patients. It takes quite a while for the symptoms to appear after infection. 

What are the Symptoms?[4]

Leprosy affects the skin, moving on to peripheral nerves.

1. Non-sensitive light/dark-colored lesions on the body

2. Enlarged irritated nerves

3. Thick & Dry skin with ulcers on the feet

4. Muscle weakness & Paralysis

5. Numbness in extremities like hands & legs 

A Skin biopsy makes the diagnosis with the bacteriological indices. 

How can we prevent its spread?[5]

Early diagnosis & treatment of people who are infected are of crucial importance. Therefore, for household contacts, immediate and annual examinations are recommended for at least five years after the last contact with an infectious person. 

References

1. https://rb.gy/avg80i
2. https://rb.gy/dbiovk
3. https://rb.gy/tnfp8x
4. https://rb.gy/kamq4h
5. https://rb.gy/nurwmd​

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